When you’re in the throws of motherhood, eating a healthy balanced diet is crucial. Nutrition is the ultimate key to maintaining your strength and energy for managing the many demands of being a mom. It’s not always conducive to eat what the rest of the family eats. Which is why I have found meal prepping my food each week to be a major blessing.
When the Lord opened my eyes as to how to eat healthy, our entire family started eating clean, whole foods. But, unfortunately, a couple years into our family’s healthy eating journey we realized it just wasn’t working. After much debate and prayer we decided to go back to semi-healthy homemade meals for the rest of the family. And so began my weekly meal prep journey, because I still desired to maintain my clean-eating diet.
Through much trial and error I have fine-tuned my weekly food prep to where it seamlessly fits into my busy schedule. With the many demands of motherhood, weekly food prep can pose it’s challenges. But, with this simple A Busy Mom’s Guide to Meal Prepping any mom can keep their nutritional intake a top priority. The following list is the exact steps I use to quickly and effectively meal prep each week.
- Make sure you have enough containers to store your meals. I use reusable ziplock plastic containers. For $40, I purchased 21 rectangle ‘plates’ and 8 plastic bowls. I have used them consistently for 3 years, but I do not wash them in the dishwasher. I use baggies for some side items and any snacks. (the small snack containers just didn’t work for me.)
- Set aside some time each week to plan your weekly meals. I typically keep a 4 week rotation. I eat the same breakfast, lunch, and dinner each day for 5-6 days. I allot one day for eating any leftovers or for eating out. The next week I rotate to another weekly meal plan.
- Make a list of the foods you’ll need for each meal and purchase those items preferable the day before you plan to meal prep. Purchase in bulk as much as possible
- Plan for 1-2 hours once a week to do your actual meal prep. I like to prepare my meats the day/night before my meal prep day in my crockpot or Instant Pot pressure cooker.
- On meal prep day, utilize all your resources, i.e. crockpot, electric pressure cooker, oven, etc. I do my best to orchestrate my meal prep day in such a way that all my ‘fairy maids’ are working while I am. The more ways you can find to multitask the quicker the process becomes.
- Chop and prep as much of your produce as possible so that your meals are as ‘take-and-go’ as possible. For instance I pre-cut my apples (dip in lemon juice to keep them from turning brown) and put in baggies, and I also pre-measure and put into baggies my raw carrots.
- Involve your children in the process. Teach them the fine art of preparing healthy foods. Even young children can measure produce and place in baggies, while the older ones can chop fruits and veggies. Make it a family memory making event.
- Package your food and label your containers or baggies. There are nifty dry erase labels these days which makes the process of identifying your meals super easy.
- Sort your fridge/freezer so that your meals are easily available and ready to grab when you need them. Purpose to plan for some of your meals to be freezer friendly so that you can make the most of your meal prep day since some foods simply won’t last a week.
- Remain focused on the end goal: insuring that you will have nutrient dense meals to help fuel you through your busy week ahead. Remember that purposing to nourish your body with healthy meals will allow YOU to be the best mommy you can be for your precious little treasures.
Meal prepping may seem like a major undertaking, especially with a house full of children, but I find that the effort and time it takes is well worth it. I truly love having my meals already prepped, especially when I am exhausted and don’t feel like preparing me an alternate meal from the rest of the family. With my meals already prepared I don’t have to compromise my health and fitness goals with eating foods that work against me. Regardless if you’re prepping an entire week’s worth of meals, one or two meals, or simply snacks; the tips used in the A Busy Mom’s Guide to Meal Prepping can easily be applied to make the process super quick and easy.